Follow This Mother!

Paige running a mid-December 10K trail race in New Jersey. "A lot trickier than road running!"
Paige running a mid-December 10K trail race in New Jersey. "A lot trickier than road running!"

Paige Alexander Sato, 46, loves to run and knit, though "still haven’t found a way to do both at the same time,” she quips on her blog. The Glen Ridge, N.J. mom of three discovered running in 2011 after years of staying active on the ice rink: “I was an ice hockey goalie from college until my youngest [now 8] turned 1. I skated. I didn’t run.”

Best recent run: Last fall I was on a 9-mile run, and at the very end of mile 5, my husband texted me saying he was taking the kids for crepes, and did I want to come. I was about a mile away from the crepe place, so I quickly booked it on over there, enjoyed a 30-minute breakfast with the family, and then I finished up my run by running the 3 miles home.

Facing Fear of (non-knitting) Needles: I’ve got this hamstring/butt injury (the result of over-training after getting out of a ‘boot’ for a heel stress fracture) that’s been a bear all fall. I’ve been doing PT/ART/Graston, which has helped, but slowly in that maddening “two steps forward, one step back” type of recovery. Acupuncture had been popping up on my radar since Thanksgiving, and finally when a member of my running club posted a request for acupuncturist recommendations on our message board, I bit the bullet and faced my fear of needles. I’ve gone twice, and I can say that I definitely feel a difference. With my injuries, my pace had slowed about a minute more per mile, but on my first run the day after my first session, I clocked in at my more typical pace.

Paige with her husband Tetsuya and their 8-year-old Rory before a local 5K.
Paige with her husband Tetsuya and their 8-year-old Rory before a local 5K.

Reunion 10K: I’m getting my first shot at being race director! My college 25th reunion is the first weekend of June, and a classmate (and FB friend) contacted me as the college reunion staff wanted an alum to be the lead cheerleader and help organize the reunion 10K.  This classmate has been seeing my FB running posts, and asked if I’d be interested. Of course I said “yes!”

Why not?: Out of the blue one morning in June 2011, I laced up and ran. And I liked it, so I kept going. That September, a coworker challenged me to run a half-marathon with him. Four months later, he and I lined up for my first race ever—the PF Chang Rock ‘N Roll Half Marathon in Phoenix. I LOVED it, and haven’t looked back. I know why I keep lacing up: running keeps me centered. I’m in my mid 40s, and facing lots of transitions—shifting from being a parent of young kids to one of independent teens, a recent promotion at work—all these changes bring challenges. My morning runs afford me the time to deliberate, think, and face those challenges head on.

Knitting & Running: They seem so opposite, but there really are some commonalities. There is a calming rhythm to each. Both allow you time in your own head, to figure things out, think things through.  Both involve TONS of math (imperial and metric)—calculating gauges (stitches per inch x the size of the garment=the amount of yarn needed) is like calculating paces Garmin-less. Both can be frustrating—complicated projects beset by mistakes, training plans laid waste by injuries. But for me, the sense of satisfaction when binding off the last stitch is just like taking that last step over the finish line, hands raised, only less sweaty.

Family rafting trip, August 2012.
Family rafting trip, August 2012.

Handmade Hoodie: I’m currently working on a pull-over I call “Runner.” I LOVE the way running shirts fit, so I took my favorite top, copied the measurements and started thinking. It took me nearly eight months to find the right wool in the right color, and now I’m knitting up a storm. I hope to be done by my first race of 2013—the Surf City Half Marathon in Huntington Beach, California Feb. 3. I can’t think of anything more fun than wearing a handknit running top with my finisher’s medal!

Follow This Mother on Twitter and at her blog On the Lam(b).

13 responses to “Follow This Mother!

  1. Yay, another mother runner/knitter! I saw a women run in a handknit running skirt one time and my goal is to one day do the same. 🙂 Would love to see a picture of the finished sweater!

  2. Yay! Another mother runner and knitter. I learned to knit this summer and have been obsessed. I agree running and knitting both give you a sense of unexpected accomplishment.

  3. Hey – another knitting/runner here – So have you seen the 5 Hour Energy commercial with the guy who is running a marathon while knitting a sweater? It’s hilarious. The first time I saw it I had to rewind it three times! Can’t wait ti see the sweater – hope you post it on Ravelry!

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